3 Years Later: How the MSD Shooting Influenced Weapons Detection

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This upcoming Valentine’s Day, 3 years ago 14 students and 3 teachers attended school at Marjory Stoneman Douglas only to never return home again. A local and national tragedy unfolded in what was already a tense period for gun control advocacy. Today we’ll take a look at some of the things that have changed in response to the shooting—including public perception on weapons detection and their place as part of a security protocol.

Gun Control Legislation and Aftermath of MSD Shooting (2021)

The Douglas shooting can be considered a defining moment in many different national discussions. Gun control, public safety, mental health, etc.

To this day, one of the primary discussions in the aftermath of the shooting is gun control. Student led organization March for Our Lives was established as an impassioned response to the shooting by direct survivors of the shooting as well as youth that felt they were the ones most susceptible to senseless gun violence.

The group organized the largest single day protest against gun violence in history.

Since then, many states have enacted gun control laws of various kinds over the past 3 years. A few notable ones are:

  • The Las Vegas shooting in 2017 had caused many states to ban or consider banning bump stocks, and after the MSD shooting, the Department of Justice amended the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to effectively ban bump stocks.
  • The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Act prohibits those from under 21 from possession or purchase of a firearm as well as prohibits a person who is deemed “mentally defective” from possession or ownership of a firearm until certain relief is obtained.
  • Red flag laws enacted in twice as many states, the full list can be found here. A red flag law allows police or family members to petition the state court to temporarily take the firearms of a person who is deemed a danger to themselves or to others. A judge must make this determination based on statements and actions the gun owner has said or made.

The MSD shooting has and continues to create focus on limiting and protecting the public from firearms through stronger gun control measures. However, the debate over gun control has been hotly contested for many decades, and relying on the hope that stronger regulations will be passed is not enough to make parents, teachers, students, and the general public feel safer.

Many news publications have noted last year that unfortunately, much of the political momentum to make further changes is gone and prior to President Biden’s election, it was much of the same election politics surrounding gun control. The movement was not a failure by any stretch–as we’ve seen, bringing in sweeping changes to many states.

Because of the unreliability of waiting for safer sanctions on firearms procurement and possession, weapon detection technology has been sent into an accelerated growth cycle resulting in innovative security solutions. These solutions are not just limited to schools, but facilities and event spaces of all kinds.

Should Schools Install Weapon Detectors?

The MSD shooting was not the first time the question of putting in weapon or metal detectors in school was asked. School security protocols have been an ongoing point of discussion for every city, county, state, and the country for the better part of 50 years.

Guns are not the only concern; knives and explosives are also something that schools have to be on the lookout for. Statistically, the vast majority of schools will never have to worry about a major incident occurring, but the potential threat of being at risk is enough to make both teachers, students, and parents uncomfortable—and all can agree that no one should have to feel that way.

The data on school violence overwhelmingly suggests that overall violence is down in schools, but much like the NIJ (National Institute of Justice) suggests, our sense that the number of school shootings has increased is likely true. This perception is backed by the CDC which states that while the frequency of school associated youth homicides had been steadily declining since 1994, it has been increasing again since roughly 2009.

Schools especially have decided that in the interim, unobtrusive weapon detection systems are an important safety protocol while other longer-term legislative and social reforms can take place to potentially curb the tragic pattern of school shootings.

Ultimately, the question if schools should install metal detectors has multiple facets to it, something we will dedicate an entire post to consider.

Weapons Detection Solutions for Schools

Smart CT Solutions has helped outfit many public and private facilities with covert weapons detection solutions.

Our weapons detection solutions are:

  • Non-invasive and undetectable for covert installations
  • Use AI to continuously learn and identify weapons
  • Respect privacy by not generating images
  • Quick and efficient by not requiring scans
  • Compact
  • Low cost so that multiple unit installation is possible
  • Does not require human operators

Contact Smart CT Solutions for our weapon detection systems, gunshot detectors, and thermal camera solutions for a robust security package that can assist with keeping your inhabitants and facility safe.

February 12, 2021

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